Essay about Full Body Burden By Kristen Iversen

Essay about Full Body Burden By Kristen Iversen

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There is a point in life where silence becomes a comfortable old friend. Silence is the only friend that we truly listen to because our mind is able to run free without limitations. In the space where our mind runs side by side with our silence, a great portion of life’s secrets can be found. What differs between each person is how they deal with their silence. One can stand up against the silence and stand alone, or one can hide behind the cloak of silence blending in with the others around them. The consequence of silence is that there are always secrets. One must be silent in order to preserve a secret. In the book, Full Body Burden by Kristen Iversen, we explore the depths of silence that the community, Rocky Flats, and Iversen’s family endure.
From a distance Iversen’s family appears to be a typical all-American happy family. They live in an ordinary middle class home, eat dinner together and take long family car trips, but behind every white rose is a black shadow. Inside the Iversen household, no one ever asks questions, nor challenges their father, and as Iversen grew up she learned, “[…] what not to say, what subjects are taboo, and what secrets must remain secrets” (Iversen 11). In Full Body Burden, Iversen recounts many situations where she, her family and the community were forced into silenced. Iversen’s father’s alcohol addiction was very prominent from the beginning of the book and as the story continues, it worsens. Even with her father’s worsening alcohol addiction, she states that “nothing is said in front of the children. We know not to talk about our father’s drinking” (Iversen 16). Iversen’s mother and father believed that if you did not say anything aloud, then you did not have to deal with what was happe...

... middle of paper ... Flats and the lethal radiation levels that the people in the Arvada community have been exposed to. Soon after, thousands of protestors were ready to fight against the government and its secrets. Iversen also took action against the government by writing this story on Rocky Flats. Challenging her parents’ belief, she became a voice for the people who put their life on the line while working at Rocky Flats.
Silence plays a big role in everyday human life. People can either stand up against it or hide behind it. Many people, such as the Iversen family, feel that silence is acceptable and normal; yet staying silent and keeping secrets creates a false sense of reality. In the end, what Iversen learned is that staying silent causes more consequences than what is needed. By speaking up against challenges, she influenced many others who are following in her footsteps.

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